Sounding the Alarm

Meet my friend “Frick”, or maybe it’s “Frack”; they look so much alike I can’t tell one from the other. For those of you who don’t recognize them, they’re my guinea hens. I often comment, “These birds are so ugly, they’re cute.” Of course, their cuteness only goes so far. Especially when they decide to serenade me outside my den or bedroom window. Then again, that’s why we have them here at the Cross-Dubya. Without question, guinea fowl are the best alarms and bug exterminators you can have around a farm. These beautiful but silly little birds, which we’ve nicknamed “The Gooney Birds”, live on high alert and the slightest abnormality (sound or sight) sets off their alarms.

I’m certain they can hear when a flea farts, and as soon as anything in their world changes, they sound the alarm. If you’ve never heard guinea fowl, here’s a link from my friends at the Brookfield Zoo, near Chicago. It seems their favorite place to alarm is right outside the kitchen window every evening. They perch atop the A/C unit and begin their loud shrills (listen using the link above) until I tap on the window over the sink to chase them off. I’m convinced they’re screaming at me to come feed them before we put them up for the night.

As much as I would like to share more about these funny birds, that’s not the alarm I need to sound this week. Sunday, November 5, 2023, was the International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians around the world. No one could have imagined that a mere ten days later, I would exclaim through tears, “It’s arrived.”

On that Wednesday evening (Nov. 15), before church, a young Outreach Pastor was doing what he often did. He was standing outside his church in Glendale, Arizona, (a Phoenix suburb) and sharing the gospel of Christ as he invited passersby into the church for the evening service. Instead of politely declining or walking to the other side of the street, as many do, someone shot this young man in the head.

The realization that a man of God can so irritate a spirit that they would choose to do harm, trying to silence God’s truth, seared my mind. The words of Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19, all telling of Christ’s crucifixion, rang loudly from my soul.

My heart broke when a writing friend shared this horrifying news with me, and I’ve been praying for this 26-year-old former combat medic since learning of this senseless tragedy. Not only is Mr. Hans Schmidt a minister of God’s Word, but he is also a devoted husband and father.

I spoke with an Elder in our church on Sunday morning, asking him to join me in prayer for this young man. After sharing the story, I leaned over and said, “Brother David, it’s happened, hasn’t it? Open persecution of Christians has come to America.” This most recent tragedy is further proof. My intent is to raise awareness of the ever-increasing threat to the Church. The church shootings around our nation, and disregard for the sanctity of human life, leaves us reeling. I sound the alarm today, not as a tornado siren (we’re so used to in north Texas), but as a fire alarm that we must rally to.

My thoughts have been on the past few decades of increasing Christian persecution. I’ve watched hardworking, highly qualified Christians lose out on promotions into executive positions. I’ve heard the snickers and snide remarks of “Bible-thumper” and “Jesus Freak” for much of my adult life. To avoid being labeled a Christian in the workplace or with friends, we learn not to show it, not to say anything. Some of us, sadly I’m included among those, would go to extremes to not identify themselves as belonging with those people.

“If they put your faith on trial, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” -Billy Graham #FaithUnderFire #StandUpForChrist #ClosetChristians Share on X

Thanks to God’s persistence and patience, I’ve become the guy who is not afraid to stop whatever I’m doing, wherever I’m at, and pray with someone who is hurting. I stand proudly in the cross’s shadow, and I will stand defiantly with Christ until He calls me home. The realization that such an action could cost me or a loved one their life is sobering. My sustaining thought is that if we must sacrifice our lives in defense of our faith in God, then it is a price worth paying. I only hope that God will use it to bring at least one more soul home.

This is not a time to shrink back but to stand fast in the face of adversity and trial. And like this brave young man, we Christians must not surrender to the fear Satan uses to silence those who strive to carry out Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).

When persecution comes to your doorstep, will you answer the door? #StandUpForChrist #NotAshamed #WorthTheCost Share on X

For years, I’ve advocated that we must #StandUpForChrist. We must not allow fear to grip us and deter us from carrying out Christ’s Great Commission of spreading the gospel of Christ into all the world. We must understand that whether sinner or saint, there is a cost. The cost that every true Christian must pay is dying to self by choosing His way over our selfish and sinful desires. Instead of closing this week with an encouraging thought, I’ll ask you to join me in this prayer.

Father, we can’t understand why someone harmed a young man who has dedicated his life to helping others find a closer walk with You. Yet, we accept that You have a purpose in it all. Maybe that purpose is to wake many who are slumbering through their milquetoast, make no waves, Christian lifestyle, so they notice the wave of hatred that is coming. Your Son warned that if they hated Him, they will hate those found in Him. Help us endure the trials that are yet to come, in Your name, Lord.

Father God, rather than hate the person(s) who committed this crime, let us lift them up to you. Let us petition Your Holy Spirit to convict them of their evil ways and lead them to confession, repentance, and salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ.

Lord, we fervently pray for the miraculous recovery of Hans Schmidt and Your comfort and peace to envelop his family and friends. Let his recovery be clear that it is nothing less than the divine will of God exercising Your power and control over his life.

We ask these things in precious and matchless name of Jesus Christ, our King. Amen.

God’s blessings,

If you would like to follow the news about Mr. Hans Schmidt, here is a link to his church’s website. Victory Chapel First Phoenix | Christian Fellowship Ministries (


53 thoughts on “Sounding the Alarm”

  1. My husband always uses Frick and Frack! It’s a very British term (and an old radio or TV show). When our son was little, he used those names for his twin stuffed puppies. LOL

  2. AMEN! This truly is so senseless and alarming and proof that yes, we are in the crosshairs. BUT GOD, That is always the dividing point. He is always more than enough and I join my faith with your beautiful prayer my friend.

    1. Thank you Ms. Ann. Knowing that we are “in the crosshairs” as you state is important. One, it reminds us of the importance of situational awareness (knowing what is all around us). Second, I hope it encourages other Christians to sharpen and use their spiritual awareness. The Holy Spirit (the Helper) is there to help us avoid the bad things that are awaiting us out there.

    1. Yes ma’am Ms. Diana. This served as a stark reminder that this world is Satan’s domain. While God remains in control, He allows these things to happen to draw the chosen closer to Him. I pray many who learn of this will turn to Him. That, will be Mr. Schmidt’s greatest testimony. God’s blessings, and thank you for joining in prayer ma’am.

  3. Such a senseless tragedy. I agree with Ann “But God…” wonderful book by the same name—I highly recommend it.

    Blessings to you and “Miss” Diane and Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Yes! That is a great book. Know that you’ve been in our hearts and prayers as this holiday approaches sweet friend. “The Firsts”, as we call them, are difficult, but knowing that friends and loved ones are praying and pulling for you during this year of transition and grieving helps to lessen the pain. God’s blessings precious woman of God.

  4. Kathy Collard Miller

    Sobering. Oh Lord, have mercy, and especially prepare our grandchildren with courage and commitment to you.
    Thank you, J.D.

    1. Amen Ms. Kathy. I think of the world we have allowed to become for our young people today, and I think of how rapidly it is becoming worse and worse. I pray all those in my family come to Christ before He comes for His bride. For those that don’t, I pray they’ll realize the price to be paid is worth their eternity. God’s blessings ma’am.

  5. J.D., when I read the news story on this young man, I read it with shock and unbelief. Most sad to me. Your post brought to mind the words to the old hymn, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”, which I am now humming in my head. Thank you for exhorting us all to not shrink back but be faithful to Him.
    “Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
    Ye soldiers of the cross;
    Lift high his royal banner,
    It must not suffer loss.
    From victory unto victory
    His army shall he lead,
    Till every foe is vanquished,
    And Christ is Lord indeed.
    Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
    Stand in his strength alone;
    The arm of flesh will fail you,
    Ye dare not trust your own.
    Put on the gospel armor,
    Each piece put on with prayer;
    Where duty calls or danger,
    Be never wanting there.
    Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
    The strife will not be long;
    This day the noise of battle,
    The next the victor’s song.
    To those who vanquish evil
    A crown of life shall be;
    They with the King of Glory
    Shall reign eternally.”

    1. Amen! Yes Ms. Joanne. When I first uttered the idea Stand Up For Christ over ten years ago, I perhaps imagined there would be a godless America that would allow such open persecution as we are seeing today in the future. I never dreamed I would be here/alive when it came. This tragedy also shocks my soul and leaves me grasping for God to help me make sense of it all. I perhaps can’t until He calls me home and reveals to me His purpose in allowing this. I think, it is to bring us closer to Him. Thank you for walking with me on this journey in faith. God’s blessings sweet sister-in-Christ.

      1. We hear of senseless attacks like this daily, but when it is in response to overt Christian outreach, it becomes all the more shocking. It’s proof that people need Jesus even more now than ever. I’ve had the words of Jesus on my mind this week, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I better start now before I actually have those from either category.

        1. Yes ma’am. Sometimes, “loving our enemies” can be a challenging thing to do. For me, that looks like refraining from saying or acting upon what is festering inside me while I’m asking the Holy Spirit to change my anger to feelings of sorrow and desire for them to find their way to God.

  6. When I first heard the news about Hans, I almost couldn’t believe it, J. D. So senseless and cruel!
    Yes, may we all sound the alarm that other Christians may wake up and know how crucial their witness is to this hurting and sinful world. May we never be afraid to stand up for the Lord!
    Praying for Hans and his family, my friend.

    1. Thank you Ms. Martha Jane. I am certain that you and Mr. Danny make it a point to share Jesus in every interaction and opportunity with folks. We must not shrink into a dark corner and hide His light under the basket of fear. We must boldly stand up and let the world see the light of Christ shining brightly through our lives. God’s blessings ma’am.

  7. Thank you for sharing from the heart. So much is happening in our world. Like you, I choose to cling to the cross—the assurance of God’s Love and forgiveness. I try to reach out as I cling, sharing with those I come in contact. Sometimes they’re receptive, sometimes not. But I continue to cling! Blessings.

  8. How heartbreaking this is. I hadn’t heard of this horrendous act and join you in praying for this young man and the persecution of all Christians. May the news embolden us to be more outspoken for Christ.

    1. Amen Ms. Candyce. And thank you for joining us in prayer for this young man and his family. I learned that he and his wife have two children. An eight-week old and a two-year child. How heartbreaking to think of how this hate-fueled act has changed so many lives. May God use this, as we know He will, for His purpose. We can’t understand, but we must (in faith) accept.

  9. I’m joining you in your prayer. It covers a lot. Thank you.
    I appreciate you bringing to light Hans’ situation so more people will be praying for him. Even though we don’t know this young man personally, we know he’s our brother.
    Also, you illuminate others in the family who are both mildly and severely persecuted for following Christ Jesus.
    I agree with you: “My sustaining thought is that if we must sacrifice our lives in defense of our faith in God, then it is a price worth paying. I only hope that God will use it to bring at least one more soul home.”
    I saw a post yesterday telling about a group of Hans’ friends proclaiming the Gospel on the same street corner where he was shot. All I can learn about his condition is that they continue to requests prayers for a miracle.

    1. Amen. Thank you Ms. Connie. Because he (Mr. Hans) is our brother-in-Christ, we lift him and his family up in prayer because they are a part of our family. I sense that more and more acts of hatred and persecution will rise up and this is “the tip of the iceberg.” I thought about how in the Middle East, the radical Islamists would paint the “n” (sign for Nazarene) on the homes of Christians. It was an open invitation for Taliban and other Islamic terrorists to reign terror upon all who lived there. I wondered, “How long Lord, before this same hatred is loosed upon this nation?” With so many from those Islamic countries who have illegally crossed our southern border and have become lost in enclaves around our nation (I think of parts of Minneapolis that have become Sharia Zones the police are forbidden from entering) and I wonder what is festering in our major cities and towns, and what is about to be released, from within.

      That’s great news to hear that Hans’ church members and friends have not shrunk away but are standing boldly for Christ.

  10. I had not heard of this shooting. I’m so sorry to hear it, and I join you in prayer for Hans and his family, as well as the shooters and our nation in general. One thing I pray for regularly is that there would be a great awakening among the lost and a revival of God’s people,.

    1. Yes ma’am. Our nation, its leaders, military, etc. are something I pray for each day. I firmly believe that if we are to see a resurgence of American nationalism we have to find our identity in Christ again. For that to happen, Christians have to become real Christians again. Leaders who are not afraid to stand up and call sin what it is. God’s blessings ma’am.

  11. How horrible and sad, J.D. I too will join you in praying for this young minister and his family. Persecution is definitely in American territory. I remember one of the school shootings years ago, how a young girl under the caferia table was asked if she was a Christian, and upon answering yes, she was shot and killed that day. I pray I would never deny my Lord in any way, shape or form. But continue to stand up for Him, boldly. Not even the gates of hell can stand against the church or Jesus Christ. They can do harm to our bodies but never our souls. God bless you.

    1. Yes ma’am. As Matthew 24 describes, once the “birth pains” start, there’s no turning back. I believe this is what we are seeing, and in the past decades, we see them slowly increasing in frequency and intensity. I remember the horrific story of that little girl. At the time, I wanted to mete out worldly justice. Today, I realize that justice is not mine to pour out and that I must let God be God. I join you in praying that God give me His strength so I might endure whatever is to come my way. I’m not afraid of dying, but I pray I die with God on my lips.

  12. I’m late to the party again, J.D., but so encouraged–not only by the stirring wakeup call you gave, but by the comments of the ones who got here ahead of me. I loved the way characteristic “Cross-Dubya” approach to warnings. We had some guineas for a while in the early days, but for some reason (probably their built-in alarm clocks) I don’t remember keeping them very long. It was a good way to get our attention–especially the link to the zoo. I played it for Diane and she added “not having guineas” to her list of things she’s thankful for.

    The meat of your post was a very relevant and powerful warning. The days of persecution of Christians have been building for some time. Jesus made it as clear as it can be made when He said that if they hated Him, they would hate us as well. Our efforts to accommodate sin and to convince the world that we are kind, nice, helpful, loving folks who mean them no harm, have accomplished nothing. The end result has only been more latitude to multiply anarchy, inflame hatred, and promote new ways to pervert God’s designs. So, turn the guineas loose. Let the fleas fart 24/7, and let the alarms sound wherever, whenever, and however they can. The cost to stand may be challenging, but the cost will only go up.

    Finally, I love it that you closed out with prayer and I loved the prayer you used. It puts our focus in the right direction and admonishes us to pour our passion into the kind of action that gets God’s attention and unleashes His awesome power against the “evil one” who activates and supports the kind of hellish things raging across the world right now. God bless you, Brother! May the alarm you and your guineas sounded today stir many out of their spiritual slumber.

    1. Thank you Brother. I’m praying that a great many are moved to storm heaven in prayer for this faith-filled young man and that their hearts are stirred to ensure they are prepared for what God’s Word tells us is to come. Always appreciate your prayers, support, and encouragement my friend, and be sure to let your Ms. Diane know that I promise not to “loose the guineas” until after 8am if y’all ever have a chance to visit us here at the Cross-Dubya sir.

  13. J.D., your story truly saddens me. The rise in antisemitism, hate for Christians, and attacks on pro-life supporters is truly demonic. When someone recently stole our “We stand with Israel” sign, I felt torn between wanting to line the busy road our property backs up to with more signs and heeding the “be shrewd as serpents” admonition. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit on how to honor Jesus in our times.

    1. Yes ma’am. When we Christians stand for what we believe in, even the media chooses to deride those who stand against evil and voice godly morality and value. What a great point you make ma’am. We must seek the Holy Spirit’s leading in how we respond when threatened. For some, like me, I let my sheepdog mindset to lead me into action before I first seek the Shepherd’s guidance as to what that action should be. Like you, my reaction would have been larger and heavier, and probably electrified signs. 🙂

    1. Yes ma’am. As we are seeing more and more of these things happening, along with louder and louder rebukes of what made our national character and moral fiber what it was, I felt strongly led to sound the alarm. For too long, we have been too permissive and too passive. If we don’t stand now, we’ll soon not have any ground to stand upon. God’s blessings my Rim-living friend.

    1. Amen Ms. Tammy. I’m sure in agreement with you ma’am. And while we Christians understand that this must come before the second Advent, it breaks our hearts to see it happening, with so many who are blind to what’s coming soon. It makes me try even harder to help reach that one next person. Every time I share Christ with another, I wonder to myself, “Is this person the last one to be reached, Lord? If not, help me to seek them out so I might hasten Your return.” Thank you so much for your prayers for this precious family.

  14. What terrible and horrifying news, J.D. I will join you in prayer for this young man’s family and the state of the world that persecutes Christians!

    1. Thank you Ms. Kathy. It breaks my heart to see this happening on the streets of America, but it also strengthens my resolve to proclaim the power and glory of God all the more loudly. God’s blessings ma’am.

  15. Thanks for sharing this heartbreaking news, JD. I hadn’t heard about it. It’s terribly shocking, and yes, demonic. We must pray and bind up these demonic attacks on not only Christians, but also Jews. I will join in fervent prayer for this young man and his young family. God bless his church, who is carrying the torch for him and continuing voicing the gospel.

    And coming soon—This reminds me of the two witnesses who will proclaim the gospel in Jerusalem in front of the Temple at the beginning of the Tribulation. God will give them power to cause pestilences, shut up the heavens from rain, and breathe fire on anyone who would try to kill them. What a 3.5-year period that will be! They will be killed by the Anti-Christ after their assignment is finished but will be resurrected and raised into heaven for all the world to see. What a day is coming!

    1. Yes ma’am Ms. Karen. While I firmly believe that we’ll witness the two from above, if we are allowed to witness what is happening during the tribulation at all (there’s a part of me that says God will shield me from that as He pours out His wrath upon evil), we’ll be praying their effectiveness in turning hearts to God.

  16. Amen. We must stand up and share the message of God. There are people waiting to have a relationship with God. Staying silent will only allow evil to enter. Share His love and message in all words and actions. Have a blessed week!

    1. Absolutely right Ms. Melissa. If we choose to say nothing, to turn away from what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we are surrendering them to the enemy. I cannot do that ma’am. I pray God’s help to fight for each soul that does not know Him. God’s blessings ma’am.

    1. We must stand indeed Ms. Yvonne. I pray God’s calling upon my life that in my final breath, I am proclaiming Him to others. I want them to see all He has done in my life. I can do that when I “die well”, knowing that I’m only laying this broken, worn out vessel down for a new impermeable one that is to come. 🙂

    1. Ms. Sally, I suspected this would hit way too close to home for you ma’am, given your husband’s profession. Know that I pray for all those called by God to proclaim His message to the world each day. God’s blessings precious sister-in-Christ.

  17. I’m late reading this message, but so glad not to have missed it. Like you, I wonder if this is a prelude to the end times. Or is it a reminder for us to be like this yound man and step into the danger zone to shout out our love for Jesus and do all we can to spread His love. Thank you, my friend, for your courage in sharing the Gospel. May God continue to bless your ministry.

    1. What is to come my friend, we know. When it is to come my friend, only God knows. What I am certain of though, and with every fiber of my being, is that He will return for us. His promise is true and the only things I must do is to proclaim His Word and endure to His end. God’s blessings precious friend.

  18. Well, I have to say I am glad Hans is still alive. I checked the link. Yes, I, too, feel that persecution has sadly reached America. It breaks my heart. We want to think it is “over there,” but that is not the case. We see signs of it everywhere. Intolerance, justification, freedom, call it what you will – it comes down to persecution. You asked the question several different ways: would we be willing to go the route of persecution should the issue arise? Like the disciples said, it would be an honor.

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